Lori Vallow (ISJ)

Lori Vallow, left, glances at the camera during a March 6, 2020, hearing with her defense attorney, Edwina Elcox, right, in Rexburg.

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District Judge Steven Boyce has ordered a stay on the criminal cases of Lori Vallow after a psychological evaluation found she was incompetent to stand trial.

“The completed assessment determined that the Defendant is not competent to proceed, and recommends restorative treatment,” Boyce wrote in his order staying the case.

The order was filed on the same day that the Chandler Police Department in Arizona announced it had submitted an investigation to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office concluding Vallow had committed conspiracy to commit first-degree murder against her ex-husband, Charles Vallow. Chandler Police Sgt. Jason McClimans confirmed the department submitted its investigation and that the prosecutor was reviewing the report.

Lori Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Charles Vallow in July 2019. No charge has been filed against Lori Vallow in court for her ex-husband’s death.

Cox died several months later of what was deemed to be natural causes, and police believe he was involved in conspiring to kill Lori Vallow’s children and Tammy Daybell, who was married to Chad Daybell. Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow married a month after Chad Daybell’s wife died, and he has also been charged in connection to her death and the deaths of the children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow.

The prosecution team is disputing the findings of the mental evaluation, according to the order. Boyce wrote that he would schedule a hearing on the matter where the prosecution could argue against the order to stay the case.

Vallow and Daybell have been charged with several felonies including first-degree murder. The couple first came under suspicion in late 2019 when J.J. Vallow’s grandmother reported she had not been able to contact him in months. The couple originally claimed he was with a relative. When police found that was untrue, they learned the couple had fled to Hawaii. Vallow later was arrested and extradited from Hawaii.

Daybell was arrested in June 2020 after investigators found the bodies of the children buried on his property.

Scheduling conferences in Vallow’s and Daybell’s destruction of evidence cases are scheduled for June 9. Daybell will also be arraigned in district court that same day for his murder case before Judge Boyce. The couple are facing multiple felonies including first-degree murder, which is punishable with a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to a life sentence, or the death penalty.

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